I’m not exactly the most prepared parent.
Usually it’s grab my wallet, my keys, a kid in both arms, and out the door. Of course 30 minutes into our outing the baby has a major diaper blow-out and the toddler is asking for snacks and water and suddenly (yet every time) I find myself empty-handed, feeling a little bit guilty, a little bit desperate, and a little bit like, “why is this still happening to me?”
Yeah, I’m that mom.
This actually became a point of tension between Jason and I, especially in our earliest parenting days when I was admittedly much worse. I now carry a bag and I usually check to make sure it’s got a diaper in there.
Jason saw my lack of preparedness as carelessness. To me it was sort of a rebellion towards becoming a parent. I was taking a stand against kids changing who I was and am – a rather spontaneous, albeit scattered, person. It was not that I didn’t understand that our kids would have needs and those needs would unquestionably affect my moment-to-moment living. I understood that very well and it was for that reason that I felt a little rush of freedom every time I was able to leave the house without first packing up the children’s bedrooms in a diaper bag, a freedom which abruptly ended every time my kid was pleading for a snack and I had nothing.
It didn’t take me long to realize Jason way was probably better.
So now…well…it’s a work in progress.
Last week Eden, Nash and I took a long walk to the park. It’s a park we usually drive to but Nash was sleeping in the Ergo and rather than waking him, we set out on foot. Oh my, was I prepared! A fully stocked diaper bag with a swim suit, sunscreen, water, snacks, a towel, change of clothes, you name it! But while we were there Eden managed to eat the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, the orange, and the quarter cantaloupe I had brought, all in addition to losing her water bottle. On our walk home we were both pretty hungry and thirsty and knowing we had a long walk head of us we ducked into a convenient store and bought a box of granola bars and some water.
Thanks to the refuel we made it home without any major meltdowns and while we walked I started thinking about granola bars and why it is so difficult to stay stock with the ones I make at home. Usually with the ingredient list, assembly time, bake time – it’s all just a little exhaustive and I’d rather not deal with it.
Then I realized, it doesn’t have to be difficult for it to be delicious, nutritious, and totally filling and so I set out to make these Chewy Peanut Butter Granola Bars.
These chewy peanut butter granola bars are super easy to put together with only FIVE wholesome ingredients and no baking required. They are sweetened primarily with dates, oh, and totally delicious. Since whipping these up (twice) I’ve brought them with us on our daily outings and it’s proved to be quite the game changer.
Watch out parents, I’m coming prepared!
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup packed dates, pitted and soaked for 30 minutes
- 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts
- Drain and rinse the dates. In a food processor blend together the dates, peanut butter, and maple syrup until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Transfer to a medium-size pot and place over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it begins to get soft and melty - about 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the oats and peanuts until well combined.
- Transfer to a parchment-lined 8x8 baking dish and roll or pat flat. Place in the refrigerator until hardened, about 1 hour.
- Cut into 12 equal pieces.
- Store in refrigerator for up to 5 days.
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